Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for May 20, 2021

The EU could reopen travel by June, the Kundera library opens in Paris, hundreds of Israel supporters gather at Prague's Franz Kafa statue. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.05.2021 09:05:00 (updated on 20.05.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

The EU could reopen to travelers in June

Following a May 19 meeting, the European Council has decided to update its travel restrictions from countries outside the EU based on people’s vaccine status. his means certain vaccines available in certain countries would grant acceptance to enter the EU's 27-nation bloc. The council “will now recommend that member states ease some of the current restrictions” for those who have been vaccinated," an EU Commission spokesman told the Associated Press. The EU is also creating a list of countries they deem as having their Covid-19 incidence rates under control, meaning all travelers from these countries could travel to the EU no matter their individual vaccination status. While an exact date for when the borders will reopen wasn't given, European leaders have indicated that June, if not sooner, is the goal. More details are expected to emerge on Friday. ČTK

People gather in Prague to show support to Israel

Nearly one hundred people gathered in Prague Wednesday evening to show their support to Israel over hostilities between Israel and Palestinians. Lower house head Radek Vondracek, Israeli Ambassador to the Czech Republic Daniel Meron, and former Health Minister Roman Prymula attended the event. Vondracek said he is always worried about attending similar events because his personal views might be easily mistaken for the stance of the Chamber of Deputies he represents. "I am glad and proud of having a large group of friends of Israel in the incumbent lower house," he said. The gathering on Franz Kafka Square took approximately one hour. Since May 10, the hostilities between Israel and Hamas have claimed the lives of at least 219 Palestinians, including 63 children and 36 women, the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has said. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates at least 18 hospitals were damaged and one healthcare facility destroyed. ČTK

Czech Senate calls for govt. to boycott Winter Olympics in China

Official representatives of the Czech Republic should not take part in the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing next year due to the human rights violation there, a group of Czech senators told reporters Wednesday. The Senate foreign affairs committee criticized the Chinese regime's treatment of Tibetans and Uyghurs. A total boycott of the Olympics or the absence of the athletes is also on the table, the committee said, but the absence of political leaders should be the minimum demand. The committee also noted that the Czech Republic's representatives should be absent from the Olympic ceremonies that will be abused and become part of propaganda. A spokesman for the embassy said the politicization of sport violates the spirit of the Olympic Charter, harming the interests of athletes of all countries and of the international Olympic movement. ČTK

Czech Centres in Paris opens new library with Kundera exhibit

After seven years of renovation works, the Czech Centre in Paris inaugurated its library in the very heart of the city with an exhibition entitled "Milan Kundera: Nostalgia For Europe" that opens to the public today. The library offers mostly books by Czech authors translated into French. Newly, it will also host literary events, Czech courses, and probably the tiniest theatre in Paris, devoted to Czech traditional wooden puppets. Czech Ambassador to France Michel Fleischmann regretted not enough Czech literary translations into French are being made. The exhibition is dedicated to the most famous Czech-French living author Milan Kundera. It was organized by the Moravian Library in Brno. Kundera's notion of home and Europe as a cultural and ideological value are intertwined into the guiding thread of the display. Colorful and optimistic pictures were loaned from Kundera's flat in Paris. ČTK

New project aims to get Czechs moving after lockdown

A new project to be launched by universities, the Czech Sports Union, the Czech Football Association and other organizations in September, is aimed at encouraging physical fitness in people of all age groups by offering an assessment of their physical condition. Participants will be able to register online and use their smartphones to measure their physical activity. The project will focus on walking, running, swimming and cycling, but can be further extended to cover other sports. The data will be collected and assessed by experts from the Biomedicine Engineering Faculty of the Czech Technical University, which will send participants the results along with recommendations for improvement. The project, National Programme for Czech Population Revitalisation, wants to encourage people to move more after the Covid-19 epidemic during which limited physical activities led to nationwide weight gain. ČTK

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more